Atos: investing in people and business technology to power progress with their clients

Case study, published 16 august 2015

Atos building in Forres

With a workforce of 93,000 employees spanning 77 countries and a revenue stream topping €10billion each year, Atos is a global leader in digital services provision specialising in high-end technical services

An authority in information management and security, software testing and development, and transactional services, Atos established its Scottish presence in the 1980s and currently employs around 1,500 people at premises in Aberdeen, Dundee, East Kilbride, Forres, Glasgow, Inverness, Linwood and Livingston.

It is this scale and depth of expertise that gives Atos the capability to serve the world’s largest industries including healthcare, defence, retail, telecommunications, transport, utilities and the public sector.

Investing in Scotland

The company has invested significantly in its Scottish operation, particularly in the Highlands and Islands where, with support from Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE), it opened its pioneering Development and Innovation Centre in 2013.

Atos created the centre to enhance its delivery of secure IT, software development and testing services for private and public sector clients. As part of this investment, the organisation committed to creating at least 50 new high-value IT jobs in Moray – a target surpassed before the end of the year.

Atos selected the town of Forres as the location for its new centre because it believed there was a strong business case supported by the local area’s ambitious economic strategy.

Speaking at the launch of the new centre, Gavin Thomson, Senior Vice President for Scotland at Atos, commented:

As a major supplier to the UK and Scottish Governments, the wealth of skills available in the Moray community was an important consideration for Atos. There should be opportunities in the future to increase the size of the centre and create more jobs.”

At the time, the UK Government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review announced the closure of RAF Kinloss, which meant large numbers of talented and technically qualified ex-military personnel were re-entering the job market.

Working in partnership

By working in partnership with HIE and Skills Development Scotland, Atos was able to capitalise on these circumstances and secure a base from which to develop its workforce, which it continues to actively invest in today.

One example which demonstrates Atos’ ongoing commitment to skills development is the award-winning Atos Apprenticeship Scheme. First introduced in 2010 in response to an ICT talent gap amongst 17 to 24 year olds, it has become widely recognised for its quality.

In recent years, Atos has been named one of the City & Guilds top 100 apprenticeship employers as well as employer of the year at the National Apprenticeship Awards and best newcomer employer for apprenticeships at Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship Awards.

Focussing on Scotland in particular, the scheme has seen rapid growth and is expected to welcome at least 50 recruits each year by 2016. Since 2011, over 70 apprentices have entered the scheme, 55 of which are still completing the programme. All remaining recruits have progressed to secure permanent roles with the company.

Currently, 38 apprentices are employed at Atos’ Development and Innovation Centre in Forres.

During a recent visit, MP for Moray, Angus Robertson, toured the facility and learned about the scheme from the apprentices themselves. He commented:

It was very encouraging to witness first-hand the work being undertaken by Atos’ young apprentices in Moray. It was great to have the opportunity to speak with them and hear about their enthusiasm and commitment to their chosen career paths and the support they are receiving to help achieve their goals.

It’s fantastic that Atos is helping these bright individuals find a promising career path in the digital industry on their doorstep. It was reassuring to see a large company like Atos set themselves apart by investing in the young people of Moray and in taking an active role in ensuring the future of this sector.”
Growth and development

Atos is also active in promoting staff development in emerging and growth areas such as cloud computing, cyber security, application modernisation and shared services. Given the pivotal role these business services now play across all sectors, investment in these areas will give Atos the competitive edge it needs to stay ahead.

Cyber Security is a growth area, with a severe skills shortage. Atos launched its Cyber Apprenticeship Programme in 2013, and this has given 29 apprentices the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills in this important service area.

In addition Atos has a 12-week Cyber Security Academy, which targets graduates and is accredited by the University of Derby. This positions the Forres Centre as one of Atos’ key locations for delivering business growth now and for the future.